Format change! I'm not going to write about my ride per se, but instead about what I thought during the ride. For those of you expecting the usual, skip it! There will be no poodle pictures or glancing references to corn chips. Ok, I can't do that to you. Here you go:
|"Not getting up unless there's corn chips"|
Anyway, here's what I was thinking this morning:
We need a new archetype for bike commuters. Here's what we have now and here's why they're insufficient. We've got the racer. The racer isn't necessarily a type denoted by his attire, but by attitude. Plenty of people in lycra are perfectly normal and civilized and plenty of others in otherwise regular clothes act like competitive dolts, insistent on proving their superiority through DECIMATING you in a rather unfun way and demonstrating that they are fast and you are slow and they will do whatever it takes to get anywhere before you. They are competitive and they try hard. They think about things like "panache" and"suffering" and they'll jockey for position with you at stop lights. And then there's the renegade. They don't follow laws, either those of man or beast, though admittedly the laws of beast hardly occur when bike commuter. "YOU MUST PAY YOUR TIGER INCOME TAX!" would be a law of beast, but the penalties and interest wouldn't be so bad until they throw you in JUNGLE JAIL, which might or might not be a zoo. Anyway, the renegade is rugged and "bombs" things and doesn't care what you think and maybe even has a messenger bag and "shreds" stuff and bangs on car doors and kicks things because he or she is an individual and they don't care what you think because they have attitude. Anyway, here's the problem with those two types: they're unappealing and they turn people off on the idea of bike commuting. It's because they don't seem happy. They seem sort of mad and exclusionary and deliberately put off by other people. They make dads biking with their kids move over to the sidewalk because they make them feel self-conscious. And this is wrong. We should, if anything, encourage parents to bike with their kids and not make them feel self-conscious. We should aspire to have more people biking, not fewer and we should be happy when the ranks of bike commuters becomes a swath more representative of the normal, wide swaths of humanity and not some subculture of it. So, here's the new type that I'm proposing and the type to which I aspire: the bon vivant. The bon vivant is happy and cultivated and relaxed and enjoys himself and goes with things and doesn't get worked up or upset or competitive or angry because he enjoys life and only wants to spend his time in worthwhile tasks. He might be in a hurry, but he never rushes. He doesn't waste a pedal. He goes with it and he gets along with others and bends like a supple reed in the wind or whatever the diktats of Eastern Philosophy are. I don't know because I only saw the first Three Ninjas moves. And here's why this is a good aspirational figure: because that person is happy and who doesn't want to be happy? That's not exclusionary. It's appealing. And maybe if more of us adopted this stance- that we're enjoying ourselves and that we're easy-going and content with how we get around- maybe it will make more people think that bike commuting is a good idea and worth considering.
For the ride home, I took this excruciatingly poor secret picture.
|"I'm so secret"|
Who's going to see Sarah McLachlan?
|The bus will remember you. Will you remember it?|
Way bad traffic on Mass and bad through Q, but not so bad for me because I ride a bike and the bike lanes aren't that crowded. It was crowded, however, with this one guy who was making awesome fist pumping moves as he biked along.
|Not making fist pumps in picture|
Anyway, I like when people bike and dance during their bike commutes. I'm always doing the Charleston. The knee-knocking part is the hardest.
11th was pretty quick and so was Penn, but there was some bike traffic and at least three CaBis and one guy on a Surly. Everyone seemed race-y. That's fine. I am not race-y. Nor racy.
I saw a tour bus advertising the "CSI Experience" at the Museum of Crime & Punishment. I didn't know museums put on exhibits about stilted acting and formulaic dialogue.
You can ride fast, but you probably won't get there any faster. Or at least you won't until they change the lights.
A bunch of bicyclists on East Capitol and even a few on the other side of the park. One guy on A, but he was on a rather small BMX, so maybe that doesn't count or only half-counts.